Sunday Times

THE RIDE

-

Nis­san’s Qashqai cross­over SUV is one of the big­gest money spin­ners for the com­pany, hav­ing sold 30,000 units in South Africa since its 2007 launch, and around 3.3 mil­lion glob­ally. It is not dif­fi­cult to see why — it’s prac­ti­cal (siz­able boot space), with a highly-ef­fi­cient en­gine in the 1.5 dCi. The value for money for me is the stand­out as the model is fairly af­ford­able at the en­try-level R309,900 — the model I drove is the highly specced Tekna deriva­tive, which starts at R449,900.

This came with a panoramic view, which my boys loved, as well as heated front seats, elec­tric win­dows, fold­ing mir­rors, sur­round-view cam­eras and an im­pres­sive Bose sound sys­tem.

It also has a slew of safety fea­tures, in­clud­ing blind-spot warn­ing, in­tel­li­gent emer­gency brak­ing and cross-traf­fic alert.

The Qashqai com­fort­ably seats four adults and a child in the mid­dle seat at the back. There is a lot of plas­tic but it doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily cheapen the SUV, as the leather trim does well to counter that.

The in­te­rior is mod­ern and fresh; the ex­te­rior is sporty with an up­dated “Vmo­tion grille” that syncs with the new vis­ual lan­guage of the Nis­san brand.

The cabin is com­fort­able, but not fives­tar as the wind noise from out­side can be more per­cep­ti­ble at higher speeds.

The one as­pect that truly im­pressed is the fuel-ef­fi­ciency of this 1.5dCi en­gine. I drove 600km on half a tank. I have driven some thirsty and sup­pos­edly fru­gal cars, but the Qashqai for now is the best. The of­fi­cial num­bers are 4.2l/100km but to me it felt far less than that.

Mo­tor­ing wiz­ard Ler­ato Matebese said re­cently, “If South Africans were not too brand-con­scious they would be sav­ing buck­ets of money driv­ing the Qashqai.” I fully agree. Nis­san has a win­ner here.

 ?? Pic­ture: Them­bek­ile Vok­wana ?? HORSE POWER The Nis­san seen through a sign at the Cathkin Eques­trian Cen­tre.
Pic­ture: Them­bek­ile Vok­wana HORSE POWER The Nis­san seen through a sign at the Cathkin Eques­trian Cen­tre.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa